Butler Eagle Explains Decision To Drop Vulgar Cartoon About Trump

Publisher 'we’re done; we will not publish your product again'

Marty Griffin and Wendy Bell
February 11, 2019 - 4:59 pm

© USA TODAY NETWORK

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BUTLER, PA (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Butler Eagle newspaper dropped the syndicated cartoon "Non Sequitur" after a vulgar message to President Donald Trump appeared in it Sunday.

Ron Vodenichar, publisher of the Butler Eagle, tells KDKA Radio the message was discovered by a father and daughter that read the comics together. 

“They started to read through them and this week “Non Sequitur” made his strip look like a coloring page, that is not the norm . . . and it actually invited the kids to color the page,” said Vodenichar.

Vodenichar says he canceled the comic not because it targeted the president but because of the vulgarity.

“Non Sequitur” appears in more than 700 papers including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Beaver Valley Times, according to Vodenichar.

Vodenichar says he immediately sent an e-mail to the syndicate saying, “We’re done; we will not publish your product again.”

Tuesday afternoon Vodenichar says they received an apology from the cartoonist Wiley Miller that said:

“When I opened the paper this Sunday morning and read my cartoon I didn’t think anything of it as I didn’t notice the scribbling that has now caught fire. It wasn’t until later when sharp-eyed readers pointed it out did I remembered doing it. As the cartoon was done about eight weeks ago, I know remember that I was particular aggravated that day about something the president had done or said and so I lashed out in a rather sophomoric manner as instant therapy. It was not intended for public consumption and I meant to white it out before submitting it but forgot to. Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers I would’ve done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner. This coming Saturday will mark the 27th anniversary and in all that time I’ve never done anything and I don’t intent to.”

But Vodenichar says that Wiley “teased” the word on Twitter the day before it was released. Wiley called it an “Easter egg”.

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